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20121201
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Search Results 0 to 8 of about 9 (some duplicates have been removed)
, a little less groomed than usual, but as you can see, looking like himself. on the left this is ghazi balkiz and john klooister, a long-time nbc news photographer. these three men were able to appear live on the "today" show, fife days after being kidnapped and held in captivity in syria. just hours before this shot of them this morning, they were freed by a syrian rebel group who rescued them from an unknown group that had taken them and that had held them for five, long, horrible days. the rebel group not only rescued these three, they then took responsibility for driving them to the border and getting them safely out of syria. they were in syria in the first place to cover the war there. this is footage of richard's last piece for nbc news before the kidnapping happened. richard and his team are veterans in this field. they've been working together for a decade in just about every corner of the world you can imagine, including long stints covering the war in iraq. also the war in afghanistan. when they filed this report last week from aleppo in syria, they reported that conditions
. and now the three of them, richard engel, producer ghazghazi l ghazi balkis and veteran cameraman john koistra appeared on" today" even then did we learn how they had been treated. >> we were driving in syria, about five days ago, in what we thought was a rebel-controlled area. we were with some of the rebels. as we were moving down the road a group of gunmen literally jumped out of trees and bushes on the side of the road. probably 15 gunmen, wearing ski masks, heavily armed. they dragged us out of the car. they had a container truck positioned waiting by the side of the road. they put us into that container truck. we were with some gunmen, some rebels who were escorting us. they executed one of them on the spot. then they took us to a series of safe houses and interrogation places. and they kept us blindfolded, bound. we weren't physically beaten or tortured. it was a lot of psychological torture. threats of being killed. they made us choose which one of us would be shot first. and when we refused there were mock shootings. it can be very traumatic experience. and at the end of this,
find that happy spot. we kept each other, as ghazi said. >> we passed messages to each other. we joked around. we weren't allowed to speak. but if you sort of look kind of peek underneath the blindfold, you can see if maybe there is a guard in the room or not. and we tried to joke back and forth and keep our spirits up. >> nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel and his crew. >> ghazi balkiz and john kooistra. they were freed after five days after being held by an unknown group inside war-torn syria. what richard said about there being other people held who are not freed. he is right. austin tice is an american reporter who has worked for a number of outlets, including mcclatchy service and the "washington post." he has been missing in syria since august. in all there are 15 journalists who have reported to have gone missing in syria while reporting on this conflict. so far of the 15 only eight have been freed. our richard and ghazi and john are three of them. we and they and their families feel very lucky and very happy tonight that that is the case, even as we continue to
. they pretended to shoot ghazi several times. when you're blindfolded, and then they fired the gun up in the air. it can be very traumatic experience. and at end of this, we were being moved to yet another location in the -- around 11:00 last night local time. and as we were moving along the road, the kidnappers came across a rebel checkpoint. something they hadn't expected. and so we were in the back of, like, when you think of as a minivan, and as we were driving along the road, the kidnappers saw this checkpoint, started a gunfight with it, two of the kidnappers were killed, we climbed out of the vehicle and the rebels took us. we spent the night with them. we didn't get much sleep. >> well, brooke, you heard it there. essentially they were -- they were rescued by rebels, close to the syrian regime. this is an unbelievably lucky escape. let's be honest here. it could have gone horribly wrong, a million different ways, held captive, kidnapped, in a house, transported to a second location. at that point, running into a rebel checkpoint completely by accident. and getting into a gunfight where t
Search Results 0 to 8 of about 9 (some duplicates have been removed)